Dating back to 3000 BC, the Indian subcontinent’s earliest evidence of textile making is during the Indus Valley Civilization, also known to be one of the world’s earliest civilized communities. This brings us to our premise – textile manufacturers in India are not only a part of an industry, they are also a part of India’s immensely rich historical and cultural heritage.
Falling second right after agriculture, the textile industry is known to generate work for large sections of rural population and to contribute billions to the country’s export market. Textile manufacturers in India can easily be referred to as one of the many skeletal elements of this country’s social, economic and ethnic segments of growth.
While the manufacturing of textiles cannot be generalized under one segment as each type of fabric, print or dyeing method used in this country is often exclusive to one geographical area, it is safe to say that there are numerous parallels that can be drawn at least in the initial stages.
We here at Shree Carpet and Textile Mahal look at textile manufacturers in India as a part of the cyclical system of any rural handicraft, fundamentally leaning on the strength of the artisans and craftsmen who form the roots of this industry that branches out to various categories and markets.
For example the base fabric for numerous processes and styles – including batik, tie and dye, ajrakh, block prints and kalamkari – happens to be either finely loom woven cotton or silk which provide a smooth and taut yet absorbent surface to print on, stain and mask with wax or threads. More often than not the geographical region which produces the fabric is also the one that works with it in the later processes to come – for example Rajasthan and Gujarat extensively produce cotton, print on it and adorn it as well.
Besides the printing and staining of natural fibrous cloth with natural dyes, Shree Carpet and Textile Mahal is also in close relations with manufacturers of applique work and quilted cloth, both often accompanied by fine embroidery. These too are held at a very high status – the laborious process is only matched in detail by the unbelievable intricacy and elegance that the women achieve through their deft fingers, needles and colored threads; all topped off by mirror work and sequins.
Applique work is one of the crowning jewels of textile manufacturers in India, sharing its spot with block printed silks. Applique is when either embroidery, quilting or small patchwork folds are used to create a slight relief on the surface of the cloth, while block printing is done on large expanses of taut fabric by using delicately carved wooden blocks.
Textile manufacturers in India have in recent times been introduced to modern technology and designs motifs, both of which have assisted their work and made them accessible to a larger database of customers. Shree Carpet and Textile Mahal works towards the empowerment of the individuals working on such local crafts and gives them an opportunity to sustain themselves with their craft alone – keeping alive and thriving the living heritage of the country.